Whether you are a young engineer entering the VLSI (very-large-scale integration) verification industry, an intermediate aspiring to build the next steps of your career, or an experienced manager trying to hire qualified candidates— understanding some of the aspects it takes to become a great verification engineer will be highly useful.

What is a verification engineer?

Simply put, a verification engineer designs and executes tests to ensure products function as expected before they become available to customers. Job duties as a verification engineer include collaborating with the design team, creating a comprehensive testing process, testing products, providing feedback, and ensuring products are ready on time.

What you need to become a verification engineer

To ensure success as a verification engineer, you should possess an in-depth knowledge of electrical engineering and have excellent analytical skills. A top-class verification engineer will be able to analyze products and create reliable, thorough testing procedures to determine their functionality. Effective verification answers not only the question “Does it work?” but also “How much does it work?”

Qualifications and skills of a verification engineer include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer or electrical engineering.
  • Previous experience as a verification engineer.
  • Knowledge of production processes and quality control procedures.
  • Knowledge of tools like Cadence and Synopsys And scripts like Unix, Perl, or Python.
  • Detailed knowledge of Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) .
  • Knowledge of industrial manufacturing procedures.
  • Well-rounded analytical and troubleshooting skills.
  • An eye for detail.
  • Developed leadership skills.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills.

Ideally, a verification engineer needs to have both hardware and software engineering skills. This entails a foundation in digital logic design, computer architecture, communication technologies, other domain knowledge, and programming.  Most of the current verification infrastructure uses advanced software engineering concepts like object-oriented programming, factory patterns, continuous integration mechanisms, and hardware description languages like SystemVerilog and VHDL.

Pros of being a verification engineer

Becoming a verification engineer offers a lot of opportunities in the industry as well as paths for personal development. First and foremost, verification engineering can feed your hunger for knowledge by providing diverse daily experiences. You will consistently work with technology that is yet to be released on the market. This means that as different tasks or problems arise over time, what you’re doing today may be completely different from what you’ll do a week from now. This will keep you up to date with the latest trends and discoveries in the industry.

Other benefits of the profession include:

  • Good income: verification engineers have one of the highest starting salaries among fresh graduates, and as experience grows, so does salary.
  • Intercultural experience: engineers may have to verify designs from around the globe, creating many opportunities to meet and interact with people from different cultures.
  • A sense of pride in your profession: when a design verified by you goes into production, you’ll experience the fulfillment of contributing to something that is used by an array of people. You’ll bring the design one step closer to perfection with every bug discovered.

Cons of being a verification engineer

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect – there will ultimately be some downsides to any job, depending on the individual and their preferences.

  • Possible frustration from lack of outside acknowledgment: It is not easy for people without a technical background to understand what a verification engineer does. Therefore, if people don’t know what you do, they can’t acknowledge the value you contribute to things they may be using in their daily lives.
  • Intangible work results: although the verification environment you build is essential and a valuable part of the design process, it is not exactly the end product
  • Tedious work: Although the work is rewarding, it does entail hours of debugging, editing documentation, theory vs. practice issues, etc.

So, what will it be?

Being a top-notch verification engineer requires technical knowledge in electronic design and the ability to manage interpersonal relationships. Working as a verification engineer is fun and rewarding if any of the above qualities resonate with you or if you want to nourish them into the next steps for career development. You will always be learning new things on the job, which is good for anyone’s intellectual well-being. There’s nothing as satisfying as being asked to solve a new puzzle every day.

How TeamUP can help

If you’ve decided that being a verification engineer sounds like a good fit for you, let TeamUP assist in finding companies that match your goals as a consultant. Contact us today to find out more.

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